There are a number of treatment interventions that are not considered to be primary forms of treatment for different types of mental health disorders, including substance use disorders.
These are often referred to as complementary and integrative treatments.
These interventions can assist in the treatment of specific types of issues but are not designed to be the primary forms of treatment or be used as the sole form of treatment for these issues. There are numerous treatments that are designated as complementary and integrative therapies, and one of these is music therapy.
Music is often linked to the production of emotional states in people, and depending on the music and the person, the effects can increase an individual’s energy, make them happy, and even make them sad. Music in this context can be therapeutic, meaning that it can serve a healing or integrative function for a person. In addition, when applied by a trained professional, music can actually be a form of therapy. When music is used in the form of music therapy, it is designed to be a complementary intervention that can enhance the effects of other primary interventions. As a form of therapy, music must also be used by someone formally trained in therapy and particularly in music therapy to reach some set of goals or end purpose.
Music therapy is a formal recognized type of therapy where music is used to assist an individual in their treatment.
Music might be used with rehabilitative therapy, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy, or it may be used in the formal treatment of individuals with substance use disorders to assist them in looking deeper into themselves and understanding their own motivations and mood states.
Music therapy has formal goals and formal techniques, and music therapists are trained in these. Individuals can also use music for their own benefit; however, when music is used without the assistance of a formally trained music therapist, it is not a form of music therapy even though the music may have beneficial or therapeutic effects. The difference between something being therapeutic and formal therapy is very specific. All types of personal experiences can be “therapeutic” and result in people learning about themselves or resolving emotional issues whereas formal therapy is a structured form of intervention that is induced by a licensed, trained, professional.
Because music therapy is a complementary treatment protocol, the music therapist will consult and actively work with the rest of the person’s treatment team to develop a formal therapeutic approach using music to address an individual’s specific needs. These particular goals might include:
As a form of complementary and integrative therapy that has a quite extensive body of empirical evidence to suggest its treatment utility, music therapy is in contrast to many other forms of complementary therapies. The major benefits of music therapy are varied.
Music therapy is one of the better forms of complementary and integrative treatments available to individuals with substance use disorders. However, there are some considerations that should be made before getting a specific individual involved in a music therapy program.